tv 1st Lady Melania Trump Cyberbullying CSPAN August 20, 2018 1:02pm-1:21pm EDT
mechanisms. all of my book is devoted to document -- a lot of my book is dedicating two things that regulators can do without the micromanagement of the federal communications commission in washington. >> watch "the communicators" at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. again, coming up in about 15 minutes, live at the federal partners in bullying prevention summit. until then, some of the speakers from this morning, including first lady melania trump. then ladies and gentlemen, please stand and welcome the first lady of the united states, melania trump. [applause] and the secretary of the united
states department of health and human services, alex azar. mrs. trump, secretary azar, academic and private sector partners welcome to the federal partners in bullying prevention summit on cyberbullying. administrator of the resource and service administration. cyberbullying is an ongoing issue for today's youth. this summit is a great opportunity to learn from one another and collaborate on innovative ways to address the
issue. today'sorward to discussions, as well as the continued dialogue and partnership following the event. i now serve the distinct honor of introducing the 24th secretary of the united states department of health and human services. please welcome secretary alex azar. [applause] thank you so much for that introduction. it is so great to be here today for this important gathering. the federal partners in bullying prevention serve as a wonderful way to bring departments and agencies together to protect children across our country from bullying. bullying has a profound effect on our kids and their mental health.
it is a topic that doesn't always get the attention it deserves, but it is a topic that is near and dear to my heart and your and dear to the first lady's heart. both of us have teenagers going through this and the difficult issues around social media. that is why i'm so happy that our first lady is with us working so diligently on this issue on behalf of all of our children. to hrsa forgrateful hosting this event. in 2001, it began the stop bullying now campaign, which raised national awareness of bullying as a serious national concern. work complements anti-bullying efforts across age adjustment especially with the substance abuse and mental health services administration. llying.gov, abu
trusted resource about bullying and bullying prevention, generating 12 million page views in the last year alone. hrsa also provides tools and resources to state metal health departments and the parents directly that can help them address bullying. we have also paid special attention recently tollying.gova trusted resource about bullying and bullying children's mental health issues, which are often connected to bullying. as part of the federal commission on school safety that president trump convened earlier this agreement hhs has been working to improve policies and programs on children's mental health. although one in five youth in the united states have a mental disorder, less than half received the services that they need. students with mental health conditions are more likely to have lower grades from higher rates of absenteeism, and elevated dropout rates while students who have access school-based mental health care have been shown to have improved grades, attendance, and physical and mental health outcomes. failing to provide needed treatment for these conditions
put young people at risk for educational failure, obesity, smoking, other drug problems, and suicide. bullying can cause feelings of hopelessness that lead to deeper mental health issues. the same feelings can drive bullying, too. we should be making every effort to reach troubled children and help them find a path to happy, healthy lives and that is why we are so glad that our first lady bestlaunched the be initiative to help address some of our children's most serious challenges. the first lady has selected social media used as one of the areas of emphasis for initiative and cyberbullying as a particular priority. 20% of children expensive thing bullying, and 16% are victims of cyberbullying. we need to recognize that leading is bullying wherever it occurs -- in schoolyard or on the internet. meeting to stop. we look forward to hearing about this topic from a range of
and industry leaders as well as a student activist. as leader of the be best ispaign, mrs. trump providing a ray of sunshine for children facing dark times while teaching everybody the , emotional,f social physical health. i've had the opportunity to discuss these issues personally with the first lady, and i can say that hurt leadership on these issues -- i look forward to hearing what she has to say today is my great honor to introduce the leader for america's children, the first lady of the united states, melania trump. [applause] mrs. trump: thank you very much, dr. azar. good morning. it is great to be here with all of you today. i wanted to open this important -- i am honored to open this
important summit on cyberbullying prevention. i want to start by thanking each of you for your commitment to the topic. i know many of you are here representing social media , federal agencies, educational organizations, youth programs, and law enforcement. goal, know we share one to pay for a smooth way forward for our children and our next generation. i launched my be best campaign in may with a focus on the many issues facing open today. one of them being the safe and responsible use of social media. in today's global society, a part of ours children's daily lives. it can be used in many positive ways, but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly.
as his wife -- this is why be best chooses to focus on the importance of teaching our next generation how to conduct themselves safely and a positive manner in an online setting. i've been so inspired by the children i have met in my time as first lady, and i believe our next generation has unlimited worldial to impact ou in positive ways. as an example, i recently had the privilege of meeting several students who are part of microsoft counsel for digital good. in addition to sharing the 15 to be safe online can they should be individual projects of presenting the thoughts and ideas on what responsible behavior means to them. i was impressed by their deep understanding of how important
it is to be safe, and was inspired by their sincere commitment to reducing peer-to-peer bullying through kindness and open communication. i encouraged technology and social-media companies, schools, and community groups to establish more opportunities for children such as microsoft counsel for digital good. by listening to children's ideas and concerns, i believe adult will be better able to help them navigate the often difficult topic. let's face it, most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media then some adults. we still need to do all we can to provide them with information and tools for successful and safe online habits.
thank you all again for being here today. our children deserve all of the opportunities we can give them to grow up happy, healthy, socially responsible adults. your commitment to this topic is an example of one of those opportunities. i look forward to today's discussion and to working with all of you in the future. god bless you and your families, and god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] >> please join me in thanking mrs. trump for joining us today to share her insides and highlight the be best campaign.
it is a true honor. we applaud you for your dedication to bettering the lives of children throughout the country. thank you. [applause] our next speaker is a university of texas college student and activist, here today to tell his story and highlight his anstanding work as anti-bullying activist. please welcome joseph. [applause] >> thank you for important -- for inviting me to address such an impressive audience.
i'm a little nervous. i've never spoken to this many people before, not to mention this high level of guess. but i really care about my topic and i would like to share my ideas with you. one reason i care is because of my own experiences with bullying. i was bullied throughout middle school and the beginning of high school. taunts onng began as the school bus, and that is how it was for most of middle school. high school, on the other hand, is when the bullying became much, much worse. day, i was verbally harassed in the hallways by one particular student, who would goad other students into joining him. the verbal abuse eventually progressed into physical harassment in front of crowds of my classmates. it got even worse and became violent.
all while this was going on, i was being harassed on social media by kids using multiplefake accounts. because the bullying was also online, i couldn't escape in a matter where i was -- not at school, not at home, nowhere. nowhere. led me to be an activist, but most kids who are bullied don't have the support systems or resources i have, and are not able to do that. but we might ask ourselves, why are kids bullied. often it is because they are perceived to be different in some way. maybe they are awkward. maybe they have difficulties with social cues. maybe they are from a different country. , gay like ilgbtq am. or they have a medical or psychiatric issue. let's take a closer look at the stories i have encountered.
i've been working on gaming networks, and i will speak on that more in a minute. while these kids have met on gaming networks, they are not representative of all kids are several bullied or bullied. i have come across kids with harrowing stories. and these are real -- these are all real. imagine you are a closeted bisexual 16-year-old living in a idwesternl mr community come and your cabin has no heat or no air-conditioning. the school you attend is small and there are only a couple dozen kids in your grade. some of them bully you in school and on social media, good to know you and some who don't. but they all call you names. sometimes they tell you to just kill yourself. others ignore you.
there is no school counselor in your school. when of your parents is a gigantic -- one of your parents is a drug addict, and both parents don't seem interested in her life. unsurprisingly, you are depressed, but when you talk your parents, you are told to buck up, you are fine, walk it off. and you have no one to talk to. imagine you are a 17-year-old male who lives in a trailer in the world one of the south with your elderly grandmother. your mom died a couple months ago from health problems, and you have no health care. you are bullied and harassed for being overweight and for. to.you have no one to talk imagine you are a gay 15-year-old african-american student who lives in a rural area in the northeast with a large and white foster family
for the you are one of the only african-american students at your school. you are the target of multiple instances of racist bullying from students, both verbal and physical. theol staff don't help and school paints you as a bad kid a long time ago. you have been suspended multiple times. your foster parents are abusive towards you and your half sister. and you have no one to talk to. these stories are all about males, because they are the people i've met on gaming networks. a few of the details have been changed to protect anonymity. but nothing from unfortunately, has been exaggerated. i have to say, the resilience in the face of such challenging circumstances is something we can all admire. but we might ask ourselves, what should be done.
i will tell you a little bit about what i have been doing. in high school i helped to create an anti-bullying initiative, with my principal support one of the student and i designed workshops for every freshman english class. our goal was to humanize kids who are different and conveyed two students the power that their words and actions carry. one of the things we did talk about is the ways we are connected, and we did not just .ocus on all of our differences another thing is we discussed the likely percentage of the student body that are lgbtq and how that meant most students had lgbtq friends whether they knew it or they didn't. here are the main takeaways from the work we did -- one, it is better to have programs led by students and adults. bystander intervention is a key part of the solution -- i cannot emphasize that one enough i thinkst importantly,
the main goal should be to activate students' natural empathy, because we all have the power to be kind and we are all, i think, born being kind, but the world takes a toll on us. accessing that empathy, we will be in a much better place going forward. in addition, our work emphasizes the power of my standards 2 -- bystanders to reduce voting. not oneas harassed, person watching stuck up for me. not one person. active and supportive bystanders are the most important line of defense between police and their victims -- >> not one person watching stuck up for wek live to rockville, maryland, for the continuation of this federal partners in bullying prevention summit. live coverage on c-span.